Pets, in general, and dogs, in particular, often tend to eat food they are not supposed to have. From raisins to chocolate, some of these foods can be quite dangerous, so pet parents might, at one point, have to induce vomiting even before they get to the vet clinic.
In today’s article, we’re looking at how you can induce vomiting in pets with hydrogen peroxide, but also several unsafe means of inducing vomiting — which we advise against.
How does hydrogen peroxide work?
Inducing vomiting in dogs with this substance is safe, but we’d first and foremost like to mention that this method should never be used on cats — they can develop ulcers and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
3% hydrogen peroxide is capable of causing a dog to vomit in as little as 15 minutes. Since many pets are not exactly keen on the smell or taste of the substance, you might have to first give your dog a small moist meal and only then make your pooch ingest the hydrogen peroxide solution.
The more liquid there is in your pet’s stomach, the easier will the vomiting experience be. You can also mix hydrogen peroxide with water if your dog hasn’t had a meal or doesn’t seem to be in the mood to eat something right now.
The right dose of hydrogen peroxide that can be used safely in our furry friends is one teaspoon per every 5 to 10 pounds of weight.
However, even in very large dog breeds, you have to split the entire dosage into several smaller ones and give your dog one teaspoon at a time and wait for several minutes.
Most vets agree that it’s not a good idea to use more than 3-4 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, no matter your canine friend’s size.
We’d also like to note that if more than two hours have passed since you suspect that your dog ate something that he or she shouldn’t have, you should not use hydrogen peroxide at all. Just get to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
Here are several more pieces of advice:
- Make sure the peroxide solution isn’t expired
- Use a turkey baster or an oral syringe to administer the solution
- Try to keep your dog’s head in a relatively natural position so as not to cause choking
- Walk your dog after he’s swallowed the hydrogen peroxide or try to play with him or her
- If 15 minutes have passed and no vomiting has occurred, you can give your dog another dose of hydrogen peroxide
- If you use more than two teaspoons and nothing happens, give him a third dose (only if his weight is above 15-30 pounds) and leave for the vet clinic immediately
Hydrogen peroxide should never be used to cause vomiting in animals that have ingested caustic substances such as cleaning products or bleach as they can cause burns to the esophagus and other mucous membranes within the digestive system.
Oily or petroleum-based products are included in the same category as they have a higher risk of being ingested into the lungs while the dog is vomiting.
Dangerous ways of making pets vomit
The first and most obvious practice that we have to advise against is sticking something into your dog’s throat. Lots of people think that if they try to shove a pen or pencil tip into their dog’s mouth and they manage to touch the margin of the pharynx, the dog will start to vomit naturally.
That is not the way things work and the procedure is unnecessarily dangerous, as well as stressful for your pet.
Dogs do not have the same gag reflex as people, so you could risk scratching the inside of your pet’s mouth or making your pooch even more scared than he or she already is.
Other things to avoid are oil, salt, and Ipecac, as using all of these things can have negative health effects. First of all, pets aren’t supposed to have salt as it can cause tremors or seizures — it’s not uncommon for some dogs to slip into a coma because of it.
Oils are generally unsafe as they can cause pancreatitis, or if they are inhaled into your dog’s lungs, they can cause severe pneumonia.
As for Ipecac, while it can indeed cause vomiting, it can lead to severe symptoms afterward. Most dogs that have ingested Ipecac experience changes in their heart rhythms and difficult breathing.
When should you try to make your pet vomit?
If your dog has ingested one of the following things, you should attempt to induce vomiting right away using hydrogen peroxide (no other method as it is the only safe one).
- Over-the-counter human medication (ibuprofen and others)
- Toxic foods (garlic, onion, raisins, chewing gum that contains artificial sweeteners, chocolate)
- Cleaning products
- Rat killers
- Toxic plants (azalea, oleander, etc)
- Insecticides and garden products
You do have to consider that trying to make your pet vomit at home has its share of risks, with the main one being that the animal can choke or inhale what he/she’s vomiting.
Too much hydrogen peroxide can also cause problems. However rare it is, there is something called peroxide-induced brain inflammation, which can lead to collapse.
When should you not induce vomiting in pets?
If your dog has a history of seizures or is known to suffer from epilepsy, you should never attempt to induce vomiting. The same goes for situations where more than two or three hours since the ingestion have passed.
Also, short-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs have a much higher likelihood of inhaling what they’re vomiting, so if you are the owner of such a breed, you should go to the vet clinic immediately instead.